Louise Gates

January 13, 1930 - December 11, 2018
Plainwell, MI



Friday, December 14, 2018
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
McCowen & Secord Life Story Funeral Homes
Marshall-Gren Chapel
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
(269) 685-5881

Rosary at 6:30

Driving Directions


Saturday, December 15, 2018
11:00 AM EST
St. Margaret's Catholic Church
766 S Farmer St.
Otsego, MI 49078
(269) 694-6311
Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

St. Margaret's Catholic Church
766 S. Farmer St.
Otsego, MI 49078
Web Site

Great Lakes Caring Hospice
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

River Rose
(269) 692-3951

Plainwell Flowers
117 S. Main
Plainwell, MI 49080
(269) 685-8055
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


With a level head and an unwavering sense of calm, Louise A. Gates lived a heart-centered life rich in faith and family. A loving wife, devoted mother, and proud grandmother, Louise embraced her roles with honor and passion leading her family by example and celebrating each day as a gift. Cherished by many, Louise’s beautiful life will long inspire those who knew her best.

Despite the obvious gloom of the Great Depression, 1930 beheld a power of hope that undulated in the hearts of many. With a natural drive not just to endure but thrive in the face of uncertainty, the nation continued to put one foot in front of the other to build a better future. Nowhere was there a greater sense of hope than in Plainwell, MI as Albert and Evon (Buhren) Warnement welcomed their daughter Louise into their hearts and home on January 13, 1930.

Growing up in Plainwell during the 30s and 40s, Louise’s childhood was firmly centered in the values of family, faith, hard work, and self-reliance. Her sense of perseverance and creativity were largely influenced by her parents who owned and operated A.H. Warnement Sons the longtime John Deere dealer in Plainwell.

After graduating from Plainwell High School with the class of 1947, Louise attended Nazareth College and worked at Harding’s market for a time. Fate blessed Louise with a highly successful double date. Though she and her sister Joan went out on the date with two brothers, Louise found that she liked Joan’s date better than the brother she was paired with, so they switched at the end of the evening. The switch was perfect and soon Louise and Bruce were a couple.

Louise and Bruce dated on and off over the next few years while Bruce was home on leave from the Navy often kicking up their heels at the local dance floors throughout the county. On January 2, 1950, the happy couple married at St. Margaret’s Church in Otsego. Louise left her job at Hardings and moved to Key West where Bruce was stationed at the time.

When Bruce was deployed to the Sea of Japan, Louise returned to Michigan. In time, Louise and Bruce were blessed with nine children: Christine, Alan, Janice, Deborah, Karen, Suzanne, Mary, Michael and Laurie. While Bruce provided for the family with his work as an electrician, Louise ran the home. Her family was her life and she relished creating a loving home rich in delicious traditions.

Louise was a great baker who was well known for her apple pie. She liked to experiment in the kitchen and never feared when some of her creations didn’t work out. Each experiment was a success even when it led to a good lesson in what not to do. Louise was also a talented quilter and seamstress. With tremendous care and skill, she created works that were both comforting and beautiful. A master at stretching resources, Louise also did a great amount of canning over the years. Her beans, tomatoes, and peaches were a family staple enjoyed by many.

An active lifetime member of St. Margaret’s and Blessed Sacrament, Louise was a valuable member of the Rosary Altar Society and the League of Mary. She unhesitatingly offered her time and talents to the church and raised her children with a strong sense of faith. With a wry sense of humor and a very level head, Louise was often the person others ran to in an emergency. Though sometimes gullible and capable of a fiery temper when pushed, Louise was more often than not, the calm center where others found deep comfort.

When Bruce went into the RV delivery business, it afforded them the opportunity to travel the country delivering from manufacturer to dealers. She traveled all over with the business and especially enjoyed destinations that included visits with loved ones. Connecticut, Washington DC, and Florida were a few of her favorites. Though she died just two miles from where she was born, she traveled from coast to coast in the intervening years.

While Louise loved collecting handheld juice squeezers (amassing a collection of over 700) and bowling, nothing filled her heart like sharing time with her family. Her children were her joy and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren her heart’s delight. In each of her grandchildren’s eyes, she could see the best of her legacy and her greatest hopes for the future. She loved them wholeheartedly and treasured any time spent in their good company. With a perpetual open-door policy, many “extra” children were welcome in her home and heart as well. There was always room at Louise’s table for another loved one.

A woman who lived each moment of her life fully, Louise showed her family how to love and learn, give and grow, confidently take risks, and to trust their capacity to endure. She taught them how to live. While the world feels less certain in the absence of Louise’s steadfast spirit, may it afford deep comfort to know that they carry the best of her legacy in their hearts and lives.

Louise Gates, age 88, of Plainwell, passed away on December 11, 2018. Louise was born on January 13, 1930, to Albert & Evon (Buhren) Warnement. Visit with her family and friends and view her life story film on Friday, December 14 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the McCowen & Secord Funeral Home Marshall & Gren Chapel; 120 S. Woodhams St. Plainwell, MI 49080. A Funeral mass will be held on Saturday, December 15 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church; 766 Farmer’s St. in Otsego. Louise’s family includes her children: Christine Tobias, Alan (Dixie) Gates, Janice Oakes, Deborah Gates, Karen (Paul) Gates, Suzanne Bellis, Mary (Gus) Grintals, Michael (Debra) Gates, Laurie Gates; thirteen grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren; her siblings: Albert (Sally) Warnement, Paul Warnement and sisters-in-law: Vivian Warnement and Carol Gates as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Bruce; her parents and siblings Joan Boniface, Bud Warnement, Francis Warnement, and Edward Warnement; two sons-in-law: James Tobias and Douglass Bellis. Louise was an avid collector of juice squeezers with over 700 in her collection. Her faith; her children and her grandchildren were her life’s focus. Please visit Louise’s memory page at www.mccowensecord.com where you can read her life story, archive a memory or photo and sign her memory book online. Memorial donations can be made to St. Margaret’s Church or to Great Lakes Caring Hospice.